A species of bryozoan.
Zooids of all the freshwater species are simultaneous hermaphrodites. Although those of many marine species function first as males and then as females, their colonies always contain a combination of zooids that are in their male and female stages. All species emit sperm into the water. Some also release ova into the water, while others capture sperm via their tentacles to fertilize their ova internally. In some species the larvae have large yolks, go to feed, and quickly settle on a surface. Others produce larvae that have little yolk but swim and feed for a few days before settling. After settling, all larvae undergo a radical metamorphosis that destroys and rebuilds almost all the internal tissues.
20 cm long
up to 12 years
Found in Northern Atlantic. It is a colonial animal that is frequently mistaken for a seaweed.
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Image by © Hans Hillewaert, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=5105379